4 customer service channels you can’t ignore

According to Salesforce’s 2020 State of Service Report, 87 per cent of service professionals noticed that consumers had increased their usage of brands’ digital channels during the pandemic. And this trend will only continue in the coming years. This means that businesses can’t afford to skip out on digital customer service strategies.

On top of that, customers today have higher expectations than ever. They’re more critical of brands and are ready to switch to a different provider at the first sign of a bad experience. In addition, the demand for quick, excellent customer service makes it even harder to retain new and existing customers.

One effective way to improve your customer experience is to be present in your target audience’s most used communication channels. Utilising your market’s preferred customer service platforms not only ensures a seamless digital brand experience but also lets you maximise every sales and lead generation opportunity.

Below are the most used customer service channels that you can’t ignore:

1. Self-service options

Self-service is the biggest customer service trend in the last two years. This option is for people who need quick information or would rather not talk to customer support agents (CSAs) to resolve their issue. According to the same Salesforce report, 78 per cent of customers have started using self-service options more since the pandemic hit.

This customer support strategy also helps businesses provide a better digital customer experience and reduce their call volume by investing in self-service.

The two self-service solutions worth considering are chatbots and a knowledge base.

Chatbots

A chatbot resolves common issues and frequently asked questions without human intervention. For example, customers often use chatbots to enquire about their order status, product availability and other simple concerns.

This automated feature takes care of straightforward customer queries so your CSAs can focus on more complex concerns. But the most significant benefit of chatbots is that they enable 24/7 customer support. So if you’re an international brand, having a chatbot feature on your website makes sure that you don’t miss customer queries from different time zones.

Knowledge base

A knowledge base is a directory containing information relevant to your customers, such as how-to guides, tutorial videos, technical documentation and many more. Each piece of content in your knowledge base answers a specific question from your customers, like how to install or troubleshoot a piece of equipment.

Knowledge bases are great because Google is the first place most consumers go to when they need support. If you have a knowledge base optimised for search, customers can get the answers straight from you, fostering trust and credibility.

2. Phone support

Every business needs a customer contact centre. Even though automated customer service is on the rise, many consumers still want to talk to human CSAs. Some issues are too complicated to be answered by chatbots and interactive voice response systems.

The most significant advantage of phone support is that it helps you ensure a positive brand experience. Calls are two-way conversations, which are great for when the customer complains about a negative experience with your brand. You have more freedom in de-escalating the situation and ensuring that the customer is satisfied by the end of the call.

3. Messenger apps

Consumers are now incredibly dependent on their gadgets for shopping-related activities, from asking brands questions to sending their payments. However, some businesses fail when it comes to mobile customer service. A study showed that 90 per cent of customers experienced poor support on mobile.

Improve your customer service by adopting messenger apps. SMS, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are some of the best customer service channels for mobile users in the UK. These platforms are great alternatives to chatbots. They provide swift responses while providing the human element that many consumers expect from their customer support.

4. Social media 

Lastly, social media is a channel you can’t ignore, especially if you’re targeting younger demographics. For example, the 2017 State of Global Customer Service Report says millennials believe that social media is an effective customer support channel.

Facebook Messenger is the most popular social media customer service platform, but users have also started airing their questions and concerns on Twitter. People tweet about their problem then mention the brand to give them a chance to respond.

Responsiveness is critical to the success of your social media strategy. Consumers who use these channels expect a quick reply to their query. Otherwise, they can get frustrated with your service and look for another brand that responds much faster.

Conclusion

Part of establishing a seamless digital brand experience is being present in your ideal buyer’s preferred channels. Some platforms are more convenient to your market than others, so these are the ones you want to focus on.

To take your customer service to the next level, you can implement an omnichannel strategy. Omnichannel customer support integrates all your contact methods into one interface, making it easier for you to manage interactions with each customer. The ultimate goal is to design your customer service strategy around your buyer persona’s digital path to purchase. This ensures that you can interact with consumers at every online touchpoint, allowing you to maximise every opportunity for lead generation and new customer acquisition.

For more tips and techniques on improving your business’s customer service, visit the Gamma blog. If you’re interested in exploring business communications solutions, fill out our contact form and a member of our team will be in touch to help.